EDIT: Just found an article that seems to substantiate my hunch, below: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2002507/
My original posting:
There is probably no correlation because such a wide range of factors--such as genes and childhood environment--affect the human character, but I'm wondering how many of us with either one or two APOE4 genes feel unusually stressed by a fast-paced modern lifestyle (for example, feeling unfit to fight traffic and live in busy cities) than the average person. I certainly do. I may just be an introvert for reasons totally unrelated to my APOE 4-4 genes, but when I hear about the quiet life of hunter-gatherers who likely were APOE 4-4 like me, and lived in small bands in the woods, it sounds perfect to me. (Except for intermittent starvation, lice, no hot showers and saber-tooth tiger attacks.) I feel totally unfit for the life of a modern city-dweller. Fighting traffic, being surrounded by thousands of people, loud noises, dangers like fast cars and chemicals (not to mention the ugliness of endless cement) is hell to me. I seem to have a very overblown stress response to this environment compared to most people, who don't understand why it makes me so tired and depressed. I can't even go to loud rock concerts. The noise and being surrounded by thousands of people stresses me out.
APOE4 is considered the "ancestral allele" by scientists, and I'm wondering if it has more far-reaching effects on the type of lifestyle we should lead than just determining our ideal diet. If it's powerful enough to determines the type of diet that's best for our hearts and brains, could it also determine the type of lifestyle that's best for us, since stress has such a profound effect on our overall immunity, but particularly effects heart and brain health?
asked byCave_Chick (30)
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on March 13, 2013
at 01:34 AM
So? You're an introvert. That's a normal state of being. I don't think it's in any way related to your ApoE alleles.
on April 09, 2013
at 01:07 PM
That's an interesting theory...but I don't carry the APOE-4 gene and I'm very introverted and hate lots of noise and crowded places and technology and so on. My ideal life would be living on a deserted island.
on March 13, 2013
at 10:42 PM
For those who may think that APOE genes are solely associated with cholesterol transport:
Some genes can have more than one effect, these are called pleiotropic.
Some genes are influenced by the activity of other genes, this is called epistasis.
on March 13, 2013
at 12:43 PM
This is interesting, I've wondered the same thing.
Here is some research supporting it:
Exercise is not enough -- and may be worse
In differentiating between the good and bad variants of the APOE gene, Prof. Michaelson and his team studied many variables. They determined that while a rich and stimulating environment is good for carriers of "good" APOE, the same environment has a negative effect on those at risk for Alzheimer's because they carry the APOE4 gene. While this environment stimulated the formation of new neuronal connections in the "good APOE" mice, it caused the death of brain neurons in the "bad APOE" mice. The stimulating environment included running wheels and tubes for hiding and sliding, as well as ropes and other toys for the mice to play on, replaced and updated with new toys weekly. Those in a non-stimulating environment had access to no toys at all.
"Conditions that are generally considered good can be harmful if the mouse is a carrier of the APOE4 gene. Extrapolating this to the human population, individuals with the bad APOE4 gene are more susceptible to stress caused by an environment that stimulates their brain," says Prof. Michaelson.